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Evaluating News: "Fake News" and Beyond

A guide to evaluating news for credibility

Fake News

Image of an old Weekly World News CoverFake news

  • Is not new - sensational and often fictional "news" has been around for a long time. 
  • In recent years"fake news" has become a catch-all for kinds of news that provide false information as well as biased information.
  • It's also become common for people to label news that disagrees with their own viewpoints as fake.
    • Sometimes you might hear that a news article or news source is fake, even when they aren't reporting false information. 

When in doubt, it's always good to check for yourself.








Different Kinds of Fake News

  • Fake News or Hoax News - Stories that promote false information. While they may be loosely influenced by facts, these stories can't be verified. These stories often rely on language designed to get an emotional response (like outrage) from readers.
  • Clickbait - Outrageous headlines and stories designed to get readers to click open links to a particular webpage. These often try to manipulate emotions or elicit surprise. You've seen a lot of this already - it often involves politics or celebrities.
  • Hyper-partisan or Heavily Biased News - Stories that present facts, often carefully selected, through a biased perspective. There are different levels of bias, but credible reporters and news sites attempt to present facts with objectivity. 
  • News Parody/Satire - Stories that parody current events and reporting. While they often use false headlines, they are created to poke fun at current events or people, not to convince readers that the information is true.


More on the News & Fake News Universe

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